Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath will be releasing the New Population Policy 2021-30 on Sunday on the occasion of World Population Day, according to a statement by the state government.
According to reports, the chief minister will unveil the policy at 11.30 am in Lucknow.
How is the policy different from the draft bill?
According to reports, the population policy for 2021-2030 is a separate exercise from the population control bill, a draft of which was released on Saturday. The Uttar Pradesh Population (Control, Stabilization and Welfare) Bill, 2021 provides incentives to married couples who limit their families to two or less children, while it disincentivises those who fail to adhere to the two-child norm. The provisions of the bill will hold significance only if the policy mentions 'exploring legal options'.
The policy will incentivise people to help in population control. It has provisions for incentives and privileges for those government and private sector employees who adopt family planning and may include incentives related to house tax, water tax and the Employees' Provident Fund contribution.
What other provisions will be included in the policy?
- Contraceptives and abortion facilities: On the proposed population policy, the state government has said efforts will be made to increase the accessibility of contraceptive measures issued under the Family Planning Programme and provide a proper system for safe abortion.
- Population stabilisation: As per a statement by the UP government, efforts will be made for population stabilisation by providing accessible solutions to impotence/infertility and reducing the newborn and maternal mortality rate, through improved health facilities.
- Other aspects: One of the key points in the new policy is to make comprehensive arrangements for the care of the elderly, while the other aspects include better management of education, health, and nutrition of adolescents between 11 to 19 years.
In a tweet on Sunday, Adityanath termed increasing population as the root of major problems including inequality in society. "Population control is the primary condition for the establishment of an advanced society. On this 'World Population Day', let us make a pledge to make ourselves and the society aware of the problems arising from the increasing population," he said in Hindi.
बढ़ती हुई जनसंख्या समाज में व्याप्त असमानता समेत प्रमुख समस्याओं का मूल है। समुन्नत समाज की स्थापना के लिए जनसंख्या नियंत्रण प्राथमिक शर्त है।
आइये, इस 'विश्व जनसंख्या दिवस' पर बढ़ती जनसंख्या से बढ़ती समस्याओं के प्रति स्वयं व समाज को जागरूक करने का प्रण लें।
— Yogi Adityanath (@myogiadityanath) July 11, 2021
According to India Today, while reviewing the presentation regarding the policy on Thursday, the chief minister had spoken of "community-centric awareness effort". “Poverty and illiteracy are major factors for population expansion. There is also a lack of awareness about the population in certain communities. Therefore, there is a need for community-centric awareness efforts," the report quotes him as saying.
Adityanath directed to form ‘Health Clubs’ in schools and gave instructions to make arrangements for digital tracking of newborns, adolescents, and elderly people. The objectives of the new policy should be embedded in the spirit of the Sustainable Development Goals.
According to the report, Additional Chief Secretary, Medical, Health, and Family Welfare, Amit Mohan Prasad had earlier said the proposed population policy was made after studying several reports, including National Family Health Survey-04 in the state.
Meanwhile, the Opposition in the state has reacted strongly to the draft bill made public on Saturday, with Samajwadi Party MLC Ashutosh Sinha saying that bringing the bill means "the murder of democracy." UP Congress spokesperson Ashok Singh called it the BJP's "political agenda" ahead of the Assembly polls and in a Hindi tweet said, "The RSS and BJP leaders talk about increasing the population. Population control is a subject of the Centre. Yogi Adityanath (CM) is bringing the bill keeping in mind the UP Assembly elections."
In June, Sambhal MLA Iqbal Mehmood had said that any law on population control would be a "conspiracy" against Muslims.
Inputs from PTI